10 Athletes Who Are Ridiculously Well Paid

Tiger Woods


The worlds greatest golfer was once flirting (pun intended) with losing all his sponsors after a filthy public divorce that was front page news for the better part of a year. Cheating on his wife with a bunch of pornstars should’ve cost him all his endorsement dollars, but that wasn’t the case. While he has never again gained the form he had in the first 15 years of his career, he’s still a very bankable athlete to have on a brands roster.

In 2014 he banked in a whopping $55 million in endorsements and appearance fees. Nike was a big part to thank for that and even though he lost sponsorships with Gatorade, Gillette, AT&T and EA Sports years ago, he seems to be doing alright.

Total 2014 earnings: $61.2 Million (Forbes)

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

As soccer’s most valuable player in 2013, Cristiano signed a record setting $200 million/ 5 year contract with Real Madrid. He passed Messi as the highest paid soccer player in the world. Although his salary and winnings only totaled $52 million in 2014, his devilishly good looks earned him top sponsorship dollars with some of the top companies in the world. He has major sponsorship deals with Nike, Tag Heuer, Motorola, Samsung, Toyota, and he even started his own personal line of underwear, all netting him $28 million on top of his soccer earnings.

Total 2014 earnings: $80 Million (Forbes)

Floyd Mayweather Jr.


This guy…;Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. is only the second athlete ever to top $100 million in Forbes’ annual report for highest paid athletes (Tiger Woods was the first). The incredible thing about this feat is that Mayweather Jr. only had 2 fights in all of 2014, yet he was able to earn just over $100 million. This was in part due to his plethora of skills which not only includes boxing, but from being an extraordinary promoter/trash talker as well.

His fight with Manny Pacquiao this May is set to shatter every record imaginable for a boxing fight, and with 60% of the purse going straight into Floyd’s pockets. Well done Floyd, well done.

Total 2014 earnings: $105 Million (Forbes)

Rafael Nadal


Shoe endorsement deals are the most coveted in all of sports. By Nadal finishing the 2013 season ranked #1 in the world, he landed a whopper of a bonus because of his endorsement deal from Nike. His success also lead him to earning a ridiculous $30 million in endorsements, not only from Nike, but also from companies like Kia Motors, Mueller, Babolat and Banc Sabadell Atlantico, just to name a few. He also made a cool $14.5 in winnings last year, putting him at the top of the list in tennis winnings for 2014.

Total 2014 earnings: $44.5 Million (Forbes)

Phil Mickelson


Hefty…;Lefty…;whatever nickname you prefer, Phil Mickelson has often been living in the shadows of Tiger Woods’ performances and popularity, but make no mistake, he is one of the best in his sport. This is evident by not only his career golf numbers, but the amount of corporate sponsors he has. In 2014, he only made $5.2 million from his golf outings, but made up for it by bringing in $48 million in endorsements. from his sponsorship deals with Barclay’s, KPMG, Rolex, Callaway and Pfizer.

Total 2014 earnings: $53.2 Million (Forbes)

Roger Federer

Australian Open Tennis

While Federer had a bummer 2014 in earnings, he is still doing just fine with his long-term endorsement relationships with the world’s top companies like Rolex and Nike. He most recently signed a 5 year deal with Moet & Chandon. With those endorsements, he took home a cozy $52 million. Good thing he doesn’t have to depend on his tournament earnings alone.

Total 2014 earnings: $56.2 Million (Forbes)

Kobe Bryant


Kobe Bryant was the highest paid athlete for the 2013-2014 NBA season for the 4th year in a row, which is shocking because he was injured for most that time. At the end of 2013, he signed a 2 year contract extension with the Lakers worth $48.5 million. This extension will keep him as the NBA’s highest paid player up until 2016 where he will be at the tender age of 38 years old. On top of his annual $30.5 million salary, he made $31 million from endorsements with Nike, Lenovo, Turkish Air and Hublot just to name a few.

Total 2014 earnings: $61.5 Million (Forbes)

Lionell Messi


Once the highest paid soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi still earns around $50 million a year before taxes playing for his team Camp Nou. He also has endorsement deals with Adidas, Pepsi, Dolce & Gabanna, EA Sports and most recently, Turkish Air alongside Kobe Bryant. All these sponsorships earned him an extra $23 million last year.

Total 2014 earnings: $64.7 Million (Forbes)

Matt Ryan

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

In 2013, the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons signed a 5 year contract that was worth $103.75 million. Included in that contract was a signing bonus worth $28 million. The signing vaulted him to third highest paid NFL player in terms of average salary, only Aaron Rodgers’ and Colin Kaepernick’s salaries are higher. Matt Ryan makes the least out of all the other athletes on this list when it comes to endorsements, a paltry $2 million. Poor guy just is as dry a riverbed in death valley.

Total 2014 earnings: $43.8 Million (Forbes)

Lebron James


The King! Lebron is probably the least surprising of all the athletes on this list. The superstar athlete is arguably the best basketball player in the world. In 2014, his salary from the NBA totaled $19.3 million but his endorsement deals net him a whopping $53 million last year. He is sponsored by Nike, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola just to name a few. Some of the $53 million can be attributed to the sale of Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones to Apple, where Lebron owned a small stake in that company.

Total 2014 earnings: $72.3 Million (Forbes)

Michael Jordan


In retirement from sports Jordan still pulls in $90 million a year and is now a billionaire. We thought we would add this in for a little perspective.



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